Slow Cooker Shredded Buffalo Chicken

The BIG GAME is this weekend, and that means it's time to get those slow cookers out! It seems like whenever we watch football with friends, there's always a whole slew of slow cookers lined up, each containing their own delicious food. Chili, queso, sloppy joes, spinach artichoke dip, the list goes on and on! IMG_9154 Today I've got a great recipe for your slow cooker - Shredded Buffalo Chicken! This chicken has all the flavor of classic buffalo wings, but without all the extra fat and calories from the breading and deep frying. It's tasty served on a bun, wrapped up in a tortilla, or served up as a crunchy lettuce wrap. It's really easy to prepare, too, and the leftovers reheat wonderfully. We've actually had it twice in the last 2 weeks! (The first time, we gobbled it up so quick that I never even took any pictures.) To get the chicken started, combine the following in your slow cooker: boneless skinless chicken breasts, a celery stalk, minced garlic, diced onion, and some chicken broth. Let it cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours; then, remove and shred. IMG_9076 Discard the celery and all but about 1/2 cup of the broth mixture. Add the chicken back to the slow cooker and add 1/2 cup of your favorite buffalo wing sauce. Mix to combine, and cook another 30-60 minutes on high to let the chicken soak up the hot sauce. IMG_8968 Enjoy on buns, or in lettuce wraps! Top the chicken with your favorite dressing (ranch or blue cheese), crumbled gorgonzola cheese, and shredded carrots. We liked this meal both ways, but I will admit that my husband preferred the sandwich buns. However, I really enjoyed the contrast of the crisp lettuce and the spicy chicken. The lettuce wraps are a great low-carb option!  

Slow Cooker Shredded Buffalo Chicken

Yield: 4-6 servings

  • 1½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup Frank's Hot Buffalo Wing sauce
  • For serving
  • Bibb lettuce leafs or buns
  • crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • shredded carrots
  • ranch dressing

Method

1. Place chicken in slow cooker along with celery stalk, garlic, onion, and chicken broth. Cover; and cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours.

2. Remove chicken and shred. Discard celery and all but 1/2 cup chicken broth mixture. Return shredded chicken to slow cooker and add 1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce. Cook 30 minutes more on high.

 3. Serve in lettuce leaves or on buns, topped with gorgonzola, shredded carrots, and ranch dressing.

Source: adapted from skinnytaste.com

Black Bean & Roasted Tomato Salad

I often get in a dinner rut... especially when it comes to side dishes! All too often, I just prep the main course, and do a simple green salad on the side, or steamed broccoli. (Not that there's anything wrong with those vegetables, but a girl can only eat so much salad! It starts to get old.) While it's super easy to open a bag of tater tots or chips (and my hubby sure won't complain), I also try to keep our dinners on the healthier side. IMG_9092 Enter: Black Bean & Roasted Tomato Salad. This is a great protein-packed veggie side that's not your usual salad! Tender black beans are combined with sweet roasted tomatoes, green onions, and a citrusy dressing. A sprinkle of feta cheese adds a little extra zing. It tastes great cold or at room temperature, so it's easy to make a big batch and eat from it all week long. The hardest part is roasting the tomatoes. Combine about 2 cups of halved cherry tomatoes in a baking dish, and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a bit of sugar, and roast at 350*F for 40 minutes. I used half yellow and half red tomatoes to add a little extra color. IMG_9088 After the tomatoes are roasted, it's just a matter of mixing everything together! Black beans, green onions, lemon zest & juice, and the tomatoes. Toss it all together, and top with feta cheese upon serving. IMG_9090 We enjoyed this as a simple side dish, and I also enjoyed the leftovers over spinach the next day for lunch. I'm also planning a burrito-style wrap with the last of it!

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Black Bean & Roasted Tomato Salad

Yield: 4-6 servings

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & fresh ground pepper pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 14-oz cans black beans, rinsed & drained
  • juice & zest from 1 lemon
  • 2-3 green onions, diced
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese

Method

1. To roast the tomatoes, place them in a baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkles with salt, pepper, and sugar. Roast at 350*F for 40 minutes, tossing a few times throughout.

2. To make the salad, combine black beans with roasted tomatoes, lemon zest & juice, and green onions. Serve topped with feta cheese.

Source: adapted from Annie's Eats

Roasted Vegetable Medley

The next few blog posts will be devoted to the Thanksgiving (aka a foodie's DREAM holiday!) I don't know about you, but the turkey is not my favorite thing on Thanksgiving. In fact, I think there have even even been a few years when the turkey doesn't even make it onto my plate! I am all about the side dishes and desserts. IMG_5312   When you think of a green vegetable side dish, the most common culprit is probably the green bean casserole. While it's good, I thought I'd try something new with a Roasted Vegetable Medley that incorporates many of my favorite green vegetables. Roasting vegetables really brings out their flavor and a little bit of sweetness. These veggies are tossed in a lemon-olive oil-parmesan coating when they are finished, and they are delicious! The recipes states that it serves 12, but my husband and I definitely ate more than our fair share! Start out by prepping your veggies - broccoli, green beans, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, carrots, and onion. You could omit any of these if you don't care for them, or add your favorite that's not included. Toss them with a bit of olive oil and spread onto a couple baking sheets.  

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  Roast at 425*F about 25-30 minutes, until tender and just a bit crispy.

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While they are roasting, mix up the olive oil coating - just a mix of olive oil, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.  

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  When the veggies are done, add them to a serving bowl and stir in the olive oil coating. Such an easy dish, and so tasty!   IMG_5312 P.S. Leftover roasted veggies make excellent salad toppings! ________________________________________________________________________________________________

Roasted Vegetable Medley

Servings/Yield: 10-12 servings
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 1 lb. fresh mushrooms, halved
  • 16 fresh brussels sprouts, halved
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
Method Preheat oven to 425*F. Combine all veggies with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl; toss to coat. Divide between two 15x-10-inch pans. Roast 25-30 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil with Parmesan cheese, parsley, lemon juice, lemon peel, salt, and pepper. When vegetables are done, toss with oil mixture in serving bowl. Serve warm. Source: adapted from Taste of Home November 2013